Today I was trying to chose a topic to write about. While I was thinking, I decided to get out my new coloring book: The Word in Color published by Christian Art Publishers. I love coloring because it’s super relaxing and it also lets me use my creative side. I turned to the first page and I just knew this is what I was going to write about today.

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This verse has a lot of significance for me. It’s kind of a long story so bear with me!

About 6 years ago, I started experiencing strange symptoms such as joint pain and swelling, fevers, and rashes. This began a long process of medical tests, research, and doctor visits that ultimately resulted in me being diagnosed with an unnamed auto-immune disease. The process was draining physically, mentally and emotionally.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Going back to when I was in high school, I was a competitive volleyball player. I enjoyed playing for my school and club teams. I wanted to continue being an athlete in college so I began the recruitment process, but I didn’t get very far. During this time is when my symptoms started and it began to become clear to me that my body would not physically be able to keep up with the demands of college athletics. This was difficult for me to accepts.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

I still went to college even though I was not going to be an athlete. I went to Abilene Christian University and began my degree. During my second semester, I met Nathan who would later become my husband. Nathan was on an athletic scholarship for football so I learned a lot about what it was to be a college athlete. After two years in Texas, we transferred to Southwestern Oklahoma University where Nathan continued to pursue his football career. During these years, I still battled my auto-immune disease as I changed medications, met with new doctors, and developed different symptoms. There were many days during this time that I wanted to be a college athlete and be part of a team again. I wanted to be in amazing shape like athletes are and I wanted to not be on so many medications that affected my weight and my ability to work out.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Fast forward to today and I have a new perspective. I can now see the good that has come of being sick, not being a college athlete, and struggling to stay on a regular work out schedule due to my symptoms. My auto-immune disease brought me closer to my mom because she dove into medical research and found all of the best doctors in the country. My auto-immune disease kept me home more in high school so my sister and I became each other’s best friend. My auto-immune disease kept me from playing college athletics, so I went to a school for academics where I met the perfect man that God chose for me. My auto-immune disease strengthened my dependence on God because He helps me keep going. My auto-immune disease has given me a greater compassion for other people who are hurting because my pain and symptoms can’t always be seen. My auto-immune disease made me work even harder in school because my grades were something that I did have control over. My auto-immune disease has now made me focus even more on taking care of my body because everything I do today will affect how my body gets through tomorrow.

This morning, the pastor at our church preached about the story of David and Goliath. There is no way that David could have brought the Philistine down without God’s help. David approached the situation with confidence and trusted that God would give him the strength to sling the stone and conquer the giant.

Today I’m feeling even more motivated to keep pursuing my health goals through eating right, working out, and taking advantage of products that can help me. Today and moving forward, I’m relying on God’s help to get me through each day and to conquer the obstacles that are in the way of achieving my goals!

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

-Rachel

rachelbworks.com

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